Tag Archives: Movies

21 – A Quick Overview

21 – A Quick Overview
Source: Netflix

When it comes to casino table games, we all know that blackjack is also known as 21. It’s a simple game where you need to get an amount higher than the dealer, without getting more than 21 in total. But, you’re not reading this to find out how to play blackjack – you’re here to find out more about the six MIT students who spent weekends in Las Vegas counting cards and winning in the game of blackjack. Card-counting is, of course, illegal at casinos, but these students almost got away with it.

The movie 21 is loosely based on a true story and stars Jim Sturgess, Kate Bosworth, Laurence Fishburne and the once-popular Kevin Spacey, but we’ll get to the latter shortly. In a nutshell, and without giving away too much, the story revolves around Ben Campbell (played by Sturgess), who cannot afford the tuition fees when he’s accepted into Harvard Medical School. He meets Professor Micky Rosa (Spacey) who invites him to join his blackjack team. Campbell soon discovers that the students (under leadership of Rosa) learn to count cards, making it easy to win at blackjack in a not-so-legal way. After numerous trips to Las Vegas, greed takes over and the plot thickens. Twists and turns can be expected and the fate of the students, and that of Rosa, will keep you guessing to the very last minute.

21 was a box office hit when it was released in 2008, earning $157.9 million on a budget of $35 million, and gained even more attention when it was released on DVD.

Controversy

What is a movie without some controversy? 21 is no exception – as the original students were all Asian, there were a few backlashes from critics using white actors to portray the students. Jeff Ma, however, who was the real-life inspiration for the character of Campbell, has said in an interview that he would have been more insulted if they chose someone who was Asian-American just for the sake of having an Asian to portray him, and he was extremely excited to have a talented actor instead to be part of the  movie.

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Movies Similar to 21

Finding a movie that’s similar to one that you enjoyed may not be as easy as it seems. In 21, for example, did you like the fact that the students beat the casinos? Or is it because the movie was about the game of blackjack, or simply a movie about the casino? Or did Kevin Spacey portray his role so well that you want to see other movies with him as the main character? See what I mean? Well, here are a few movies that kind of sum up everything – so you can choose what the deciding factor for you was. These movies include Runner Runner, Casino Jack, Rounders, The Social Network, Catch Me If You Can and The Usual Suspects.

The Rise and Fall of Kevin Spacey

As they say in Hollywood: “One day you’re in, and the next day you’re out”. Kevin Spacey remains a brilliant actor with an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor (The Usual Suspects) and an Academy Award for Best Actor (American Beauty) under his belt, as well as a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor (House of Cards).

In 2017, Spacey was accused, by actor Anthony Rapp, of making sexual advances toward him when he was 14. Shortly afterwards, numerous other men accused Spacy of either sexual harassment or sexual assault and, in a matter of days, Spacey’s career was over, so to speak. Whether these allegations are true or not, they have not been proven as yet, but where there’s smoke, there’s fire.  If you can overlook his latest conduct and separate the man from the on-screen character, then why not give the movie, 21, a try today.

The Top 5 Coolest Movie Cars

The Batmobile
Source: My Generation Toys

Movies are often where you’ll see really cool cars and believe it or not, this is not accidental! It turns out that people who sell cars are aware that a great many people watch movies. So, putting the puzzle together, they realised that putting cool cars in movies is a great way to sell them. Or at least get the model of car a fair amount of publicity.

So a trend was born that lives on to this very day; cool people driving cool cars in movies. Let’s take a look at our top 5 and see if you agree with our choices…After all, what’s cool is a matter of opinion!

Aston Martin DB5, Goldfinger


Is there a top 5 list out there, involving cars that does not mention the Aston Martin DB5 from Goldfinger? If there is, that list should be dragged out into the street and shot. The Aston Martin is basically the physical manifestation of cool cars in movies, made even cooler by the fact that a suave Sean Connery drove it. Sean Connery is just about as cool as actors get, so when combining his cool factor with the Aston Martin, what we get is a sort of cool epicentre.

Naturally, the real Aston Martin DB5 did not have an ejector seat, but the rest of its impressive features made up for it. One will cost you around $450,000, so if you want to be as cool as Connery and afford one of these babies, then best you start playing for that online slots jackpot!

Pontiac Trans Am, Smokey and the Bandit


Who doesn’t love Smokey and the Bandit? It was all but a living, breathing manifestation of the fun loving spirit of the 1970’s, staring the man that made the cowboy hat the coolest thing you could wear on your head; Burt Reynolds (RIP). The car, the Pontiac Trans AM, had already been out for five years prior to the movie. But upon the film being released, sales predictably, went through the roof. You can get one today for between $20,000 and $50,000, depending on the specifics.

DeLorean DMC-12, Back to the Future


Widely regarded as one of the greatest science fiction films of all time, Back to the Future turned Michael J Fox into a household name, and drastically influenced the film industry. The idea of travelling in time via a car was pure genius, and the DeLorean is still the icon of time travel to this day. DeLorean itself, sadly, went out of business, which is probably why one in decent condition will cost you around $65,000 today.

XB GT Ford Falcon, Mad Max


Mad Max was another massively influential movie, introducing the world to dark, gritty, post apocalyptic worlds where having a powerful car made all the difference. Mel Gibson was catapulted to fame, and two sequels were quickly made, with the second being the standard for high octane, punk riddled post apocalyptic films even today. The XB GT Ford Falcon in the film was massively tweaked, so none are available that look exactly like it. Depending on specifics, one can cost you up to around $100,000.

The Batmobile, Batman Begins


Is it a tank? Is it a car? Who knows, but it sure is cool on a new level. Most astonishing of all is that this monster actually existed, and was built for the film. It was not special effects. Yes, you’d have to be Bruce Wayne to afford it, but we can certainly dream. Apparently it went on sale for $1 million in 2014. What anyone would do with it is a mystery, but you can buy one if you have a million laying around.